or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Spaced Out

This is just me whining. You really don't have to read it. I do, however, have to get it out of my system.

The other day on Slate — of course it was Slate; it's always Slate — there was an article about eating in outer space which contained this sentence:

Unlike robots, which don’t need to eat, drink, or even necessarily return to Earth, humans require fuel.

If you hack out that subordinate clause in the middle you get the following assertion: "Unlike robots, humans require fuel."

Robots require fuel. Duh. They don't eat, obviously, not in the way that people eat, so they don't have to eliminate — they don't create unpleasant waste products that need to be disposed of (except for heat, which is easily dealt with) — but they still require fuel.

How did this thing make it out of the writer's brain and into his word processor? And how did it get past the eye of an editor? Oh, right: there doesn't seem to be one.


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